Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg police: No charges for ex-Rays doctor Michael Reilly

ST. PETERSBURG — Police said they will not seek criminal charges against Dr. Michael Reilly, the former Tampa Bay Rays physician who was fired in January after a woman accused him of sexual abuse nearly a decade ago.

Police started their investigation after Brianna Holzerland, 26, posted a 10-minute video to YouTube on Jan. 17 detailing allegations that she said occurred while she worked as a teenager at Reilly’s St. Petersburg clinic. That led the Rays to fire the doctor on Jan. 30.

The decision not to pursue charges against the doctor is contained within a heavily redacted four-page investigative report released by St. Petersburg police on Monday.

Citing privacy laws, police withheld the identity of the victim mentioned in the report. "The victim does want to press charges," the report said.

But Detective Karen Lofton wrote that investigators could not establish the probable cause against Reilly necessary to make an arrest on charges of simple battery or sexual battery.

Also, Lofton wrote, since the victim was an adult at the time of the allegations, the statute of limitations for those charges have already expired.

"Only having the victim’s statements, no independent witnesses to the offenses, and the medical records not matching the original (victim’s) statements," the detective wrote, "I was unable to develop probable cause to go forward with charges of simple battery and/or sexual battery."

In January, Reilly denied the allegations in a statement issued through his attorney. The doctor said he had engaged in a consensual relationship with Holzerland when she was an adult. He also said he was "deeply troubled" by the allegations and called the tarnishing of his reputation "disturbing."

The doctor’s attorney, Cathleen Bell Bremmer, did not respond to phone calls and emails requesting comment Monday.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Rays sever ties with team physician Michael Reilly after video alleging inappropriate conduct

Reilly, 67, spent 20 years affiliated with the Rays and had also served as a team doctor for the Tampa Bay Lightning from 1992-2002.

He has a private practice near downtown St. Petersburg and served as chief of staff at St. Anthony’s Hospital from 2000-2001. He has worked with several charities and served on the board of the Alpha House. He was married in 1999 and has six sons.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Fired Rays physician denies allegations of sexual abuse in statement

When the Tampa Bay Times contacted Holzerland about her allegations in January, she stood by them.

When reached by phone on Monday, she declined to comment.

She posted the video online entitled "The Importance Of Sharing My Story Of Sexual Abuse." In the video, she said she was 16 when she started working at the doctor’s office and that Reilly would "put his hand on my hand," and "put his hand on my shoulder and lightly rub my back."

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Woman stands by allegations of abuse against ex-Tampa Bay Rays doctor

She said she quit "shortly after I noticed he was touching me in exam rooms." She said Reilly invited her to return to work eight months later and "the same thing started happening, and this time it did progress." She said her experiences left her with anxiety attacks and dealing with other issues.

After Rays executives let the doctor go, he also resigned from a medical position at St. Petersburg Catholic High School.

A Rays spokeswoman also declined to comment.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Ex-Rays doctor has spent years serving his hometown

Times staff writers Laura C. Morel and Marc Topkin contributed to this report. Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or [email protected] Follow @ByJoshSolomon.

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